On 17 March 2021 the UK Government announced the funding awards under the UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) to three project consortia in which Equinor is directly involved:
1) Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH), a twelve-company partnership to turn the UK’s largest industrial cluster net zero through the step-wise deployment of low carbon hydrogen, carbon capture and negative emissions being delivered at sites across the Humber estuary. The first project is the Equinor-led H2H Saltend low carbon hydrogen facility and a hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline network across Humber industrial sites developed by National Grid Ventures.
2) Net Zero Teesside (NZT), a five-company partnership to decarbonise the Teesside industrial cluster with carbon capture and build a new gas-fired power station with state-of-the art carbon capture technology.
3) Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP), a six-company partnership (with ENI, National Grid, Shell, Total and operator bp) to develop offshore carbon dioxide transport and storage infrastructure in the UK North Sea that will serve both ZCH and NZT.
4) The three successful bids amount to GBP 229 million in private and public funding, with Equinor and its partners contributing more than two-thirds of the total.
The funding awards from UK Research & Innovation and the funding from Equinor and its partners will be used in each project to move through the detailed engineering and design stages and progress to the point where, subject to the development in parallel of supportive UK policy, a final investment decision (FID) on each can be taken.
In Norway, Equinor and its partners started construction work in January 2021 on Northern Lights, Europe’s first full-scale carbon transportation & storage project, following the Norwegian Parliament’s vote to approve funding in December. Construction is expected to be completed by late 2023 with the first phase operational during 2024.